There is no talk about value of human lives in the war with ISIS, there is only geopolitics, and nobody in the West thinks about helping Christians or arming the Iraqi army, German journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter told RT.
In order to fight against the Islamic State in a successful way the West needs to sanction and punish all those powers that are supporting the Islamic State, namely Turkey and the Gulf states, Ochsenreiter believes. Also, it is necessary to help and arm armies that have been fighting the terrorists for years, which first of all means the Syrian army, he added.
RT: What can we read into the fact that the jihadist executioner of an American journalist was apparently British?
Manuel Ochsenreiter: It is not surprising. We know that thousands of Westerners are leaving Europe or even the US ending up as blood-thirsty terrorists in Syria and Iraq. This has been going for years; it is not a new development. This is the brutal and blood-thirsty horrors of decades of the wrong politics on the one side. On the other side it gives a spotlight to the fact that those fanatics can leave their European homeland without any problems. We should not forget that the Syrian government was accused by social activists that the Syrian army had captured Foley. It was an accusation since he disappeared, and now we know that it was the Islamic State that captured him and executed him.
RT: How much is Europe in danger now of these jihadists returning home? And why do European governments only seem to be realizing it now?
MO: I do not think so, because this development is not new. Thousands or tens of thousands of fighters of the Islamic State did not fall from the sky. Many of them were trained in training camps at the Turkish-Syrian border or at the Jordanian-Syrian border. They have many terrorist training camps, and this has been going on for years. We should remember when the West was calling for the support of the so-called "moderate" rebels. But these are the same people, these are the so-called "moderate" rebels from yesterday - they have become extremists and they already were extremists when the West called them "moderate" rebels. We should not forget that the "moderate" militia already had the Osama Bin-Laden brigade. We should not forget that the rebel commander who ate the organs of a fallen Syrian soldier in front of a video camera was a so-called "moderate". This development is not new, the beheadings are not new, the mass executions are not new, the cruel and brutal handling of journalists is not new. I fear there will be no change in European politics at all, that they will go on doing the same mistakes they did yesterday.
RT: Germany is prepared to send arms to the Kurds to fight the Islamic State. Is that the right course of action, or just a return to previous mistakes?
MO: This is a very ridiculous debate, because it includes an opinion that it is ok when these people leave Europe to kill civilians in Syria and Iraq, to go on war against Syrian and Iraqi army. This is not a problem at all for the European capitals. All of a sudden these people become a problem when they want to return. It is a very bad foreign politics attitude to export your problems, your mistakes into other countries, so these people kill and do their terrorist work there. On the other side it also shows how uneducated European politics is watching towards terrorism. It was clear from the first day that if the people leave for these countries they will return as terrorists, they will be well-trained and have battlefield experience. That is in fact very dangerous.
RT: Western countries backed the Syrian opposition against the Assad government. Are they now re-evaluating their loyalties do you think?
MO: I think we repeat a horrible mistake, because we have to see the Islamic State terrorists as a Western-created monster. The Islamic State would not exist without the fierce Western help and also the support by the Arabic Gulf States, as well as the support from Turkey. What they are doing right now is they are arming the Kurds for the fight against the Islamic State. But we have to see what were the Kurdish militia doing within the last weeks when the Islamic State was conquering Mosul, when it was committing genocide against the Christian and Shia population and against all the population that was not obedient towards the Islamist extremists. Nobody was talking about helping Christians in the region or about arming the Iraqi army. We are not talking about human lives and value of human lives here, we are talking about geopolitics, and when it comes to geopolitics we have to realize that there is a conflict between the two Western proxies: on the one side the two Kurdish territories, on the other side the Islamic State militia. It is simply a problem that the Islamic State has turned its head against the other Western proxy, Kurdistan. This is why the US is bombing the terrorist fighters. As long as they were killing only Syrians, Iraqis and Christians nobody in the West was seriously thinking about helping those victims.
There are two measures if you really want to fight against the Islamic State in a successful way. Measure number one would be to sanction and to punish all those powers that are supporting the Islamic State. This would be Turkey on the one side, and the Gulf States on the other. The other measure would be helping and arming those armies that have been fighting the terrorists for years, and this would be the Syrian army, because it has been fighting this war for three years, and from time to time in a very successful way.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.